Metaphors and Statements: Were in Nebraska, Tryk

Posted on August 28, 2009 by

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Adelante a la tierra de Lincoln, Tryk.

No matter where you are, there you are. I still see Edren and Russell as if they were in LA. I still see K.Sao as if we were in LV. No matter where we are, were still here, experiencing as if we are experiencing things on a journey. This trip is characterized as a “journey.”

The road trip consists of a lot of seeing things and in being places within the limits of time. Time is constraining and limiting our experience of the space, and networks. The connection of seeing things and being in places of time makes up the “journey.”

We only get to see bits and pieces of Rest Stops and it is synthesized into this whole called the journey. We haven’t been there to see the construction of those rest stops and other forms of public works, yet it’s there and has a history. Time might be a constraint in the journey the string of events that make up this trip, but perhaps the limit is sometimes the moving force for people.

Edren noted that I have a lot of slow reactions because it takes me some time to think and process. So with those weaknesses in mind, he launched me into an official Writer’s Workshop exercise: freewriting for 1 or 2 minutes to get rid of that thinking. Time was acting as a limit and I would need to get out a point, any point.

My points ended up sounding like freestyle battling, according to K.Sao. It was basically just me making metaphors.

This brought to mind my reaction: well, yeah! All language is or was a metaphor at some point.

Metaphor is not some peripheral device used only by literature people, but its the building block for the way we express ourselves, an idea I took from George Lakoff. And just because it’s what holds up our language doesn’t make it mundane.

A metaphor is the state of one word being equal to another word in some way. It starts out as a rough representation of an idea, but later as it is used more and more it becomes the literal representation of an idea. Edren brought up the point that the use of metaphor wasn’t limited to words: language all started out with symbols representing things, and later ideas. They had to make on symbol equal to a thing and idea. The symbol represents the thing/idea and can be used in various ways.

The metaphor is the building block for language. It’s a way to help people understand a situation by making one situation equal to another situation. It’s a way to help move the way people think. For example, instead of thinking of an argument as a “war”, maybe we’d be better off culturally if we thought of arguments as a “dance.” There doesn’t necessarily need to be “fighting” (inherent within the idea of “war”) in an argument. If I’m using metaphors, I either want make a quick connection to something else to help you understand something or I want to use it to make you think a different way about something.

As a building block for languages, the concept and application of the metaphor is an essential piece of infrastructure that holds up our way of life and allows for the advancement of technology and science.

K.Sao built on that point by saying this: we need each other as human beings to keep building on that infrastructure.

We build based off what other people have created and will continue to create and remake. There is no such thing as pure originality, we are always taking something that someone had created and use it based on what we need.

However, just because there is no pure originality and it’s seemingly difficult to find a niche, this shouldn’t bring anyone down. If we just stop at taking things literally and stop creating new interpretations, we constrain ourselves and perhaps we become mere automatons, or mere programmed robots, operating on a code created by an invisible omnipotent entity. Creation and production is necessary for our survival. Time can be used sometimes to unleash that creativity, but sometimes, especially in the context of work, grant-writing, and other practical perhaps it can restrict.

In the context of the Writers’ Workshop exercise, metaphors were a convenient tool for me to make a point, any point, within the time constraint. In the much larger context of human existence, metaphors help us represent our experience, a journey. Using a metaphor is also potentially a convenient tool we always use to direct and shift modes of thought. Like if you want to change the perception that “argument is war.”

So perhaps this trip is more than a writer’s “journey.” It can also be a “statement.” No matter where we are, we are here in Nebraska, Tryk. We were also in Utah and Colorado, Tryk. As in were here, motherfuckers, 4 brown kids from the West in the the Midwest “experiencing” America. “Experiencing” is a metaphor for being in a certain place at a certain time. It’s not experience in the sense of “what you get when you don’t get what you wanted”, but experience in the fact that “we are here” or to you in Los Angeles, “we are there.” We are here in a place with certain connections and networks. You are there in a certain place with certain connections and networks. We are here and we won’t be denied!

Today’s conversations were sponsored by swinging around the Colorado River and looking at its greeny ecology, least West Colorado.

Also with the support of talking about some inspirational books:
The User Illusion by Tor Norettranders


Metaphors We Live by by George Lakoff

Neurologist/author Oliver Sacks’ tales from the clinic, most especially the book An Anthropologist from Mars

Discussions about the effect of writing on technology via the Alphabet Effect.

Discussions about consciousness, technology, and language via Godel, Escher, and Bach

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